Text: Health Care Ethics USA

The Inaugural Catholic Health Care Ethics Innovation Forum

Winter-Spring 2020

Editor's note: We are pleased to present this special combined Winter/Spring 2020 edition of Health Care Ethics USA to feature a series of articles by Catholic health ethicists at the Inaugural Catholic Healthcare Ethics Innovation Forum (CHEIF) hosted by CHRISTUS Health in December 2019. In light of the scope, range and depth of the articles, we thought it would be helpful to our readers to publish the entire collection in this special combined edition. An overview of CHEIF is provided below. We will resume our normal publication of HCEUSA with the summer 2020 issue.

Great ideas are shared. After discussing the possibility of sharing ideas and best practices at a recent Theology and Ethics Colloquium presented by the Catholic Health Association in St. Louis, we realized we do not have a venue as ethicists in Catholic health care to submit innovative ideas, present them to our colleagues, and enhance them together. Our hope was to create a forum to share the good work we are all doing to embed and integrate ethics into our health ministries, to receive critical feedback from colleagues, and contribute to evolving the way Catholic health care thinks about and implements ethics.

Therefore, in December 2019, CHRISTUS Health hosted the Inaugural Catholic Healthcare Ethics Innovation Forum (CHEIF) at their system office in Irving, Texas. CHEIF's purpose was to provide an opportunity for ethicists working in Catholic health care to explore, present, and discuss innovative and novel ideas in health care ethics.

We encouraged invitees to submit abstracts on any topic related to their work in Catholic
health care ethics. However, we identified four areas of focus:

  1. Ethics Personnel: Competencies, Development, Self-Care, Management
  2. Documentation, Tracking, and Storytelling (for institutional purposes)
  3. Institutional Integration: Rounding, Leadership, Intra-Institutional Partnerships, and Ecclesial Relations
  4. Assessment: Value and Quality

The presentation format at CHEIF was not traditional lecture or paper presentations, but lightning talks. Each presenter was limited to three slides and seven minutes. Presenters were grouped together by subject area, with six to seven presenters in a session, followed by 45 minutes for a panel discussion and Q&A with the presenters from that session. This presentation style acutely focused the presenters on integration and outcomes in sharing their innovative idea. Facilitated discussion among presenters within the grouped subject area maximized collaborative dialogue on the subject area.

CHEIF featured 26 presentations on topics ranging from moral distress to ethical considerations with big data. There were 27 attendees representing 13 different organizations. The EthicsLab podcast (available at missiononline.net) recorded onsite interviews with presenters. A post-conference survey found that 100% (13 of 13) of respondents would return if CHEIF were held again, and 92% (10 of 13) are planning to make changes to their ethics services based on attending CHEIF. Based on this success, we are currently planning to hold CHEIF again sometime later in 2020.

For those who could not attend, the Catholic Health Association offered to publish summaries of the presentations in this issue for presenters who wished to submit one. We hope you find their work helpful in improving the ethics services at your ministry.